With social media buzzing with stunning pictures of snow-capped mountain peaks, dense jungles, and trails with no destination in sight, it’s only normal to be excited. The idea of embarking on an adventure on your own is thrilling and scary at the same time. 

Don’t worry – I’ve been there, and so have been most people I know! It’s the butterflies you get before a trek – trust me, I know all the signs! 

Trekking can appear to be daunting, particularly when you are planning to go to the Himalayas just for yourself. And you can totally do it – unlike mountaineering, you don’t need prior training! 

While planning my first trek a few years ago, it was scary – I had to go to 20 different websites to understand everything I needed to know before my first trek – the process itself was exhausting. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to go through a similar experience – here’s a comprehensive guide to preparing for your first solo trek to the Himalayas. 

Choosing Your First Himalayan Trek: How To Go About It?

After spending over five half a decade with the Indian trekking community, I came across an interesting piece of data. 

According to India Hikes, 60% of their trekking enthusiasts are typically confused about choosing their first trek to the Himalayas. The remaining 40% hear about a trek from their acquaintances and subsequently make up their minds about doing that particular trek. 


So, how can you select your first trek to the Himalayas and ensure the timing is right? Now, there are two possible situations here. 

  • You have planned your holidays, or there are some days off for a specific month, and you need to select a trek.
  • You already know which trek you want to go on, and you must choose the best time. 

So, let’s look at each situation. 

Situation 1: You Want To Plan The Trek Around Your Holidays In A Certain Month

In this situation, you have to zero down on the timing – when do you want to go for the trek? If you have already figured this out, then that sounds great. The next thing that you need to figure out here is which is the best trek for that particular month. 

After all, every trek has its particular season – basically, the best time to do it. 

For instance, if you trek to Rupin Pass, your best months are October, September, June, and May. That is precisely why most travel and trek groups run this trek only in those months. 

Similarly, treks such as Brahmatal and Kedarkantha are great for nearly 9 months every year – these are constantly transforming treks. You will see flowers in spring, snow in winter, greenery in summer, and striking views in Autumn. These treks are beautiful in every season – and that too differently. 

So, select a trek depending on two things:

  • The month in which it is the best time to trek the location of your choice. 
  • The difficulty level you are comfortable with. 

Situation 2: You Have Already Made A Choice About The Trek, You Need To Know About The Best Time To Do It

If you already have a trek in mind, then it’s a lot easier for you. Just choose the best time of the year to do the trek and go for it. 

You cannot expect your favorite trek and the best time to go on it to align. Sometimes, the best time to do so might not match your holiday plans

If you actually come across such a situation, then you should always do the trek over any criteria, even annual holidays or office leaves. After all, a trek is an experience of a lifetime, and you want the very best out of it. As a result, you must go for trekking at a time that is right for that particular trek. 

Things To Know Before Choosing Your First Himalayan Trek:

Are you yearning to explore the forbidden, snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas? Are you ready for some trekking across the Himalayan terrain? 


But are you also worried about not knowing where to begin? 

Don’t worry – Dream and Travel is here to help! Scroll down to read everything you must consider before planning your first trek to the Himalayas.

1. Do Thorough Research:

It is compulsory to do comprehensive research about your trek. 

This means you must have information about the trekking destination, the terrain, the average distance between the camps, the level of difficulty, altitude, weather conditions, and the best time to visit before planning the actual trek. 

2. Plan Your Trek Well:

Do you have any interest in the centuries-old culture of the trekking destination, or is the place a remote mountain pass that appears to be more appealing? 

For example, you can trek to Little Tibet or Ladakh if you want a taste of culture and history – the ancient monasteries of Ladakh are fascinating. 

However, if you want to walk through deep jungles and rough mountain terrains, then you must consider exploring the state of Sikkim. For instance, the Goechala trek in West Sikkim offers the most spectacular views of the Himalayas. 

3. You Have To Take Physical Fitness Into Account:

Though it is vital to stay fit at all times, treks always demand somewhat more. It is best to follow a well-structured fitness schedule at least 3-4 months before the trek. To get ready for your first solo trek to the Himalayas, you have to work on three primary areas:

  • Endurance and Strength Training, 
  • Aerobic Fitness, and
  • Trekking-Specific Training. 

4. Carrying A Medical Kit Is Mandatory:

Carrying your own medical kit is mandatory – you cannot leave your medical kit behind. 

No matter what anyone tells you, never forget to carry your basic ointments and medicines on a trek. That way, you will be fine, and there won’t be any need to stop due to specific injuries while the trek is on. 

5. Keep It Light For Your Stomach & Stay Hydrated:

While trekking on the Himalayan terrain, your body’s fluid requirement is bound to increase significantly. This happens because the climate in the Himalayas is dry and cold. As a result, drink lots of water frequently and stay hydrated. 

Ensure that you are drinking at least 4 to 6 liters of water every day – just have small water stops during the trek. However, for food, take additional care to avoid eating anything heavy. Instead, just opt for small meals every few hours. 

Also, carry easily digestible, simple food items and snacks such as electrolytes, dry fruits, energy bars, and anything else that will help you with instant energy.

6. Understand What Is Altitude Sickness:

Altitude sickness is known as AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness. As a trekking enthusiast, it is vital to understand how to identify, avoid, and, most importantly, treat high-altitude sickness. 

7. Know Your Limits:

If you have not walked long distances, then you should try covering short distances with adequate breaks. One of the most common issues that new trekkers face during the trek is fatigue. 

You are literally the only person who is familiar with your own endurance and physical strength. So, always know your limits and, more importantly, stick to them. It might appear to be difficult and exhausting while you are on the trek, but once you come back home, you will realize how enriching the experience was indeed. 

8. Don’t Pollute Nature:

Now, this is very important. If you don’t respect nature, nature won’t respect you back! So, when you are starting your trek, make a commitment not to pollute the trails, the waterbodies, the mountains, and even the campsites. 

Also, carry a water bottle and a few water purifying tablets – when you are passing streams, just refill your bottle. 

Moreover, don’t throw any trash like bottles and food wrappers on the campsites and the trails. Additionally, carry an extra paper bag to collect your trash – once you come back to the mainland, dispose of the bag properly. 

9. Avoid Smoking And Drinking Alcohol:

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during trekking. Once you are up at 6000 ft. above sea level, you perspire and exhale double the moisture you do at sea level. Moreover, alcohol dehydrates your body further. 

10. Understand That There Might Be No Electricity:

Electricity in remote villages is absolutely unpredictable. Once you start trekking upwards, you will see there is no electricity in the campsites, and in some places, no phone networks as well. 

Although you can’t do anything about the network, you can do something for the electricity, like carrying spare accessories such as power banks and camera batteries. You must also carry a torch and a headlamp with fresh batteries for convenience. 

Tip: You can keep the batters close to yourself – your body heat will make the batteries last longer 

11. Pack Proper Trekking Equipment And Pack It Well:

There is no such thing as bad weather – there is only bad clothing. When you choose the wrong footwear, trekking equipment, and clothing, you are actually inviting trouble during your trek. Since these events can lead to injuries, it is vital to pack well. 

Also, remember that if you pack your backpack right, then you can make your whole trek efficient and comfortable – it can actually save your life. In fact, nobody can even predict the harsh weather conditions in the mountains, particularly while trekking in the Himalayas. 

So, it is best to prepare for the absolute worst. Hence, you must carry proper trekking gear and equipment. For instance, torches, caps, sleeping bags, tents, gloves, trekking poles, or rainwear are some of the essentials. Moreover, if you are trekking across snow-clad terrain, you must carry gaiters, crampons, and snow boots. 

How To Stay Fit And Get Ready For Your First Solo Trek To The Himalayas?

You have to take fitness seriously. This is because every trek has its own difficulty level and fitness requirement. As a result, fitness plays an integral role in staying fit and helping you get ready for your first solo trek to the Himalayas. 


Moreover, most trekking enthusiasts worry more about fitness for high-altitude treks, and Himalayan treks are typically high-altitude. From steep climbs and rough terrains to walking in the snow, it can be daunting. But with the right amount of training, you can tackle all such issues. 

So, you have to focus on two significant aspects:

  1. Strength Training and
  2. Cardiovascular Endurance. 

On high-altitude treks, remember that you will be gaining altitude with every single step. Now, with the rise in altitude, the oxygen in the air begins to decrease. This means more work for the heart, and that too with limited oxygen – that is so not easy.

Moreover, you will need some cardiovascular training to comfortably manage the constant climbs. Along with cardiovascular training, add some strength training.

So, What Makes A Good Training Schedule?

A standard running schedule consists of easy runs, tempo runs, long runs, and speed work like fartleks and intervals. 


Here are four things that you need to do to prepare for your first solo trek to the Himalayas.

1. Easy Runs:

During easy runs, you shouldn’t be putting a whole lot of pressure on your body. As the name of the workout suggests, these are easy! You just have to ensure that you are breathing in a rhythm. 

Here’s what I do during an easy run: 3:2 or 3:2. This basically means you have to inhale for three steps before exhaling for three steps. You can also choose to inhale for three steps before exhaling for two steps. 

Moreover, you should know how to speak an entire sentence without gasping for a breath. 

2. Intervals:

Intervals are a kind of speed workout where you can run a set distance (for instance, 350 meters) really fast for a certain number of times (for example, 7 times). The problem is to decrease the amount of time taken to cover 350 meters in every repetition. 

A solid way to start is to run for 350 meters fast and then relax for a minute or so. Similarly, repeat the same exercise 7 times. Remember, you cannot reduce the rest time. 

Also, you should not reduce the rest time. So, if you rest for a minute the first time, you have to use the rest time to get your heart rate to go down. 

3. Tempo Runs:

Tempo runs are a basic test for enhancing your endurance. In this kind of workout, you run for a comparatively longer distance and a much faster pace. The challenge here is to maintain your speed throughout your run. 

Moreover, you shouldn’t run with your complete effort. Instead, you should run at 75% of your actual maximum effort. In short, your tempo runs should be comfortably tricky. You should be aware that you can go faster, but don’t be tempted to go slow towards the end. 

4. Long Runs:

As the name makes it clear, this particular workout is about running long distances. This typically indicates running over 10 kilometers at a leisurely speed. The goal here is to finish the distance and not go really fast or too hard. 

So, you have to pace yourself well and definitely begin slowly. Of course, you can walk and go on short breaks to hydrate. 

Personally, I feel that long runs can be a great time to introspect. It is not always about running and fitness, but your personal goals as well.

Gear And Equipment To Buy Before Your First Solo Trek To The Himalayas:

Packing lists might not sound very hot, but they are incredibly helpful, especially before your first solo trek to the Himalayas. So, here’s my packing list for 15 days in the Himalayas. 


Please Note: the weight of my pack was around 25 pounds, depending on the water and what I was wearing. For me, 25 pounds was ideal for my shoulder – it didn’t feel too heavy to carry. By the way, none of these links are sponsored – that in itself indicates a necessity.  

1. Trekking Shoes:

All high-altitude treks need trekking shoes that have a good grip, are sturdy, and have excellent ankle support. Also, if your shoes can handle snow, then that would be even better.

2. Back Pack:

For high-altitude treks that last over seven days, you will need a 50 to 60-liter backpack. So, ensure that your backpack has great shoulder support, quick access to pockets, and good hip support. 

3. Clothes:

On high-altitude treks, the cold can be bothersome. Moreover, wearing layers happens to be the best way to deal with the cold. This is because layers give you maximum flexibility and protection in the mountains. Also, when the weather starts to change in the mountains, put on or take off layers as and when required. 

4. Sunglasses:

Sunglasses don’t look just great – they can also protect you from snow blindness. On most Himalayan treks, mainly if you visit during the snowy season, a slight overexposure to the direct sun can cause snow blindness. In fact, even an hour’s exposure can cause snow blindness. 

That is because fallen snow is just like hundreds of mirrors that reflect the direct UV rays. So, you will need sunglasses that offer UV protection.

5. Sun Cap:

A sun cap is compulsory. Trekking without any sun can cause sun strokes, headaches, and quick dehydration. 

6. Woollen Cap or Balaclava:

Make sure that you cover your ears with a woolen cap or a balaclava. So, in the cold Himalayan mountains, you will tend to lose heat from the top of your head. As a result, it is vital to protect your head, especially once the sun starts to go down. This is why you need to cover your head.

7. Socks:

Apart from the two sports socks, carry a pair of woolen socks. As a result, sports socks will give you a comfy, cushioning warmth. Here, the trick is to buy synthetic socks, at least one that has a synthetic blend. Since cotton socks can get wet on soaking in water or sweat, it takes time to dry. 

8. Headlamp:

You will need a headlamp because it will leave your hands free while you are trekking or at the campsite. On long treks, you will need your hands free to pitch tents, hold trek poles, and wash dishes.

9. Trekking Pole:

Trekking pole gives you balance and stability. As a result, they will decrease your consumption of energy by nearly 40%. Since there are steep descents and ascents in most Himalayan treks, a couple of trekking poles make the difference between a strenuous and comfortable trek.

10. Rainwear:

On treks, the weather can quickly change – a bright, sunny morning can turn into a cloudy day with incessant rain in just a few minutes. So, it’s best to carry a rain jacket or a poncho to tackle the rapid changes in weather and unpredictable rainfall. 

11. Raincover:

Backpacks are incredibly important. After all, you carry your warm gear and dry clothes in your backpack. Moreover, it is vital that your backpack is dry at all hours of the day. So, modern backpacks typically have built-in rain covers.

12. Mandatory Documents To Pack:

You will need certain documents from the forest department and other concerned authorities to start or during your trek. Without any of this document, you won’t be allowed on the trek. 

  • Government Photo Identity Card – both original and photocopy.
  • Disclaimer and Medical Certificate.

13. Personal Medical Kit:

Carry a personal medical kit with you – something that you can easily access at all times. Just ensure that you don’t consume any medicine without consulting with a medical professional and the trek leader. 

Here’s a list of medicines to carry on your trek (you can get this list approved by your trek leader or medical professional):

  • Dolo 650 – 5 tablets.
  • Diamox – 1 strip.
  • Combiflam – 5 tablets.
  • Avomine – 4 tablets.
  • ORS – 6 packs.
  • Digene – 4 tablets.
  • Knee Brace (optional).

14. Other Mandatory Requirements:

Apart from everything mentioned above, there are three other things you must carry on your trek:

  • A toilet kit – toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet tissue roll, small soap, lip balm, and small moisturizer. (If you are a woman, carry menstrual cups, tampons, or pads on the trek). 
  • Cutlery – a lunch box, a spoon, a mug, and 2 one-litre water bottles.
  • Plastic Covers – 3-4 old plastic covers.

So, ensure you are carrying Ziploc bags to carry your menstrual waste. Moreover, leaving the sanitary waste behind in the Himalayas is strictly forbidden. Also, the locals consider it socially unacceptable as well.

Safety Tips To Know Before Your First Solo Trek To The Himalayas:

A trek to the Himalayas is a thrilling adventure undoubtedly that never fails to draw enthusiasts from across the globe. The majestic Himalayas are breathtaking, but they come with their own set of risks and challenges. 

It is essential for trekking enthusiasts to be ready and aware of any potential hazards that they might face during the experince. Naturally, being safe should be of the utmost importance to you. 


Moreover, there is so much to worry about – from acclimatization and altitude sickness to cultural etiquette and emergencies, you have to be ready to face it all. 

You have to understand that while a trek to the Himalayas can be a life-changing experience, it can only become so if you are safe. 

Acclimatization Techniques:

When you are trekking in the Himalayas, accurate acclimatization is vital for avoiding altitude sickness. 

Here are some of the most essential techniques to help your body adapt to high altitudes. 

Gradual Ascent:

Ascend steadily and slowly. The standard rule is to not increase your altitude by not over 300 to 500 meters every night. This sort of gradual increase will give your body plenty of time to adjust. 

Rest Days:

Schedule your rest days, particularly when you are over 3,000 meters. During this time, use your days for short and higher-elevation hikes before returning to a relatively lower altitude for sleeping purposes. This follows the actual climb high sleep low principle.

Acclimatization Walks:

Go for acclimatization walks. Before the primary trek, spend a few days at moderate altitudes doing light activities. 

Listen To Your Body:

Be attentive to exactly how your body is feeling. So, if you experience any kind of discomfort, it is best to just descend or rest. 

Avoid Overexertion:

Ensure that you are keeping your physical activities at a moderate level, particularly during the trek’s first few days. If you overexert yourself, then you will be at an increased risk of altitude sickness. 

Altitude Sickness Prevention:

Altitude Sickness is a common issue when you are trekking in high-altitude ranges such as the Himalayas. It is vital to understand and implement different strategies for prevention. 


So, here’s how you can handle and minimize the risk!

Gradual Ascent:

You must avoid any rapid ascension to high-altitude ranges. Generally, it is recommended not to climb over 300 to 500 meters every day once you cross 3,000 meters. 


Spend some time at moderate altitudes so that your body can adapt to the weather. This includes the sleep low, climb high strategy, where you climb high altitudes during the daytime and come back to low altitudes for sleeping. 

Avoid Strenuous Activities:

During the first two days at a high altitude, avoid any strenuous activity, which can increase your respiratory demand and heart rate.

Eat Carbohydrate-Rich Foods:

A diet rich in carbohydrates can actually help your body adjust to a low availability of oxygen. 

Descend If Needed:

If symptoms start to worsen or don’t improve with rest, start descending immediately. So, delaying can actually lead to potentially fatal and serious conditions such as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).

Wildlife Safety:

Trekking the Himalayas will bring you close to the area’s diverse wildlife. As a result, it is essential to know how to coexist safely with wildlife to make sure you are safe.  

So, here are some of the vital wildlife safety tips:

  1. Before you start the trek, it is imperative to find out about the local wildlife and be aware of it.
  1. Always maintain a respectful and safe distance from the area’s wildlife. 
  1. Please don’t resort to feeding wild animals. This will ensure that wild animals are not drawn to your campsite for food. 
  1. Store your food well so that no animal can access the food, especially at night. 
  1. While trekking through dense forests, make noise so that you can avoid startling wildlife. 
  1. When you are taking photos of the wildlife, avoid any flash photography as it can agitate the animals. 
  1. Certain animals in the Himalayan range are actually endangered. Understanding the influence of human presence can help you to make ethical decisions on the trek.
  1. You might come across certain areas that might be off-limits to you for protecting wildlife. Respect such boundaries and avoid going to these areas. 
  1. Wild animals are typically active during dusk and dawn. So, be cautious during these parts of the day. 

Survival Safety Tips:

While acclimatization, mountain sickness, and wildlife safety play an integral role in making your trek super-safe, there are specific safety tips that can make survival easy in these areas. 


Here are some survival tips to make your whole trekking experience safe:

  1. Take your skill level into account while choosing your trek route. It should match your comfort level, physical fitness, and experience. 
  1. Before making any decision, research the trek destination and route well. Ensure that you are taking both the weather and season into consideration. Is it the best time of the year to travel to the spot – find out! 
  1. You should always select routes and destinations that have access to medical facilities and emergency assistance. In the case of remote routes, this is not a possibility. 
  1. You should always listen to locals – at least consult with local guides if you are confused about a route or any aspect of the trek. 
  1. If you have to cut your trek short, find out about all exit points on the route. It is also imperative to have an alternative plan if your route becomes impassable.  
  1. Be aware and cautious of any environmental conditions and wildlife-related risks in the region. 
  1. Understand the trek’s altitude profile. Any route that rapidly gains altitude increases the risk of altitude sickness. 

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Before/During Your First Solo Himalayan Trek:

While physical training is essential, preparing yourself mentally before your first trek for what’s about to come will make you tough and help you to adapt. Moreover, mental toughness is one quality that will help you during difficulties. 

When you adapt to the situation around you, it is your brain’s way of saying, “hey, I am ready. You can bring it on!”

The more strong you are mentally, the more you will be able to take in – you will adapt faster, you will look at challenges as opportunities, and you will develop solid willpower. 

But how can you prepare yourself for something that you have never done before? Understand it’s your first trek – it is going to be life-altering. How do you even mentally prepare for that?

Let’s find out!

1. Positive Self-Talk:

Develop a habit of self-talking – but only positive self-talk. This means you must appreciate what you do, surround yourself with problems, and start working on them. Moreover, you can start so easily with just a standard routine for yourself. 

Now, abide by this routine at all costs. So just tell yourself once in a while, “I can do this. I have already done this in the past. There’s no reason why I can’t do it again.”

2. Adopt A Growth Mindset:

Adopting a growth mindset is vital, and it can help you tap into your sense of stamina and endurance. So, give yourself a month to get ready for your first solo Himalayan trek. You just have to fit in various exercises, increase the time limits, and push your boundaries. This way, you will be able to test your perseverance and find out about your restrictions. 

In order to adopt a growth mindset, you need to focus on the three aspects mentioned below:

  • Prioritize the basics. 
  • Seek criticism that’s constructive. 
  • Be consistent and avoid competing when you are in the process of learning. 

3. Be Informed And Cautious:

Yes, you are strong. But at the same time, you are also a human being. So, you might be getting ready for a solo trek for several months, but your body can actually get sick. 

In fact, you can develop mountain sickness or face some injury. As a result, having a solid exit strategy will ease the anxiety you will probably be feeling at the time. 

Just keep assuring yourself that you will get a mule’s help or go back quickly to the nearest safe location if you are in trouble. 

4. Don’t Procrastinate:

The point is to win over the mental demons bothering you. So, you need to understand that physical and mental preparation is interdependent. Whenever you have time, take a few long walks or hit the gym if it works better for you. 

Apart from fitness, keep yourself healthy. Don’t push excessively during the last week before the trek to avoid injuries. So, just concentrate on your diet, walks, and stretching exercises. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, make it fun – play with your routine and mind to ace your trek. 

6. Assess Your Health Frequently:

Be wise and stop when your body starts to give you signals to stop. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. However, it can save you from any unnecessary issues. 

Trekking Permits Compliance At The Himalayas: 

Securing and complying with Himalayan trekking permits is a vital aspect that you must consider. Here’s what you must know to ensure you are following the rules, not to mention contributing to responsible tourism. 


Research Permit Requirements:

Various regions in the Himalayan mountains have their own permit requirements. So, before you trek to the Himalayas, look up the different permits you need for a route.

Obtain The Permits:

You can usually obtain permits from the tourism offices, and sometimes you can even get them online. In some instances, you can also ask your tour operator to arrange the permits for you.

Apply Within Time:

You have to apply for the permits well in advance before your trek. Some permits come with a limited quota and can even run during peak times of the year.

Carry The Permits During Trek:

Of course, you must carry all the required permits with you on the trek. During the trek, you will come across checkpoints along different routes when you will have to show them.

Understand The Restrictions On The Permits:

Some permits have specific restrictions like designated camping areas, trekking routes, and environmental regulations. Ensure that you understand these restrictions and follow them same. 

Permits Are A Safety Measure:

Permits aren’t some bureaucratic necessity. These are also a safety measure since they can help authorities keep track of tourists in case of natural disasters or emergencies. 

Respect All Area Closures:

Some areas might be closed to you and other trekkers for cultural or environmental reasons or even safety. As a result, you should always respect such closures.

Always Keep Copies:

Keeping digital copies or photocopies of your permits is a great idea if you lose the originals. 

Check For Any Changes In Regulations:

Permit requirements and regulations can change. So, check for the latest information before you go on the trek. 

Trekking without any required permits will lead to you falling into legal troubles, including being barred from continuing the trek or paying hefty fines.

By making sure you have the necessary trekking permits, you are not only abiding by the local laws of the region but also contributing to the sustainable management of these trails. As a result, compliance is a vital aspect of responsible trekking and tourism in the Himalayas. 


Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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